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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XVI


16 April 2014

gratuitous image

No. 3,267 (cartoon)

You’re acting pathetic.

It’s not an act.

It certainly is, but not a convincing one.

17 April 2014

Banned in China

Mark reported from China that the wise Communist Party leaders have blocked Internet access to this site. In my humble ignorance, I do not understand how their great minds have arrived at this judicious decision, since I have enthusiastically sang their praises over the years.

Their extraordinary leadership abilities, matchless courage, devotion to the socialist cause (despite the persistent threat of the U.S.-led imperialist allied forces), and tireless struggle to better the lives of the people remain unsurpassed. Their great deeds will be always cherished in the memories of the grateful Chinese proletariat.

And so, sagacious rulers, I hope you will see fit to allow the Chinese people to view this codswallop.

18 April 2014

Unsung for a Reason

After seeing my latest work, Nora said she appreciated my unsung accomplishments.

“That’s fine,” I replied. “If they were sung, I imagine it would sound cacophonous, but not in a good way.”

19 April 2014

The Opposite of Everything

“The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality.” I am fortunate to know very little about depression, so I appreciated that insight from Andrew Solomon.

When I mentioned that observation to Bradley, he added that the opposite of love was indifference. I replied that I thought indifference was the opposite of excellence. After a bit of backing and forthing, we concluded that indifference is the opposite of everything.

I suppose I should have been excited by this epiphany, but instead I was predictably indifferent.

20 April 2014

Barely Hap

Iris asked me to turn on her television. I knew how to turn on a television when I was five, but I can’t any more. That’s because here in California there aren’t any televisions outside of a museum. Instead, everyone now has a home entertainment system.

Iris uses four remote control units to manage her wall of electronics. Each device is the size of a small baguette, and features dozens of buttons, knobs, and dials. I had no idea what to do.

“I’m sorry, Iris,” I said, “but I’m hapless when it comes to this stuff.”

“That’s fine,” she replied, “I’m barely hap myself, and I’ve been using it for years.”

“Why don’t we go for a walk instead?” I suggested. “I think a brief respite from electricity would be most restorative.”

And we did. And it was.

21 April 2014

Engineers and Designers

Engineers are always a few generations ahead of designers, so I expect to be technologically challenged until I’m cremated. (At least I won’t have to figure out how the oven works.)

That’s why I appreciate Leica cameras (even though they’re so ridiculously overpriced that I can’t afford the current model); they haven’t been redesigned in half a century.

Fifty years of tradition unhampered by progress! Ogden Nash and James Thurber had the right idea: “Progress was all right. Only it went on too long.” (One of them said it before the other, and I’m too lazy to find out who.)

22 April 2014

Ansel Adams is Still Dead

Ansel Adams died thirty years ago today. I met him at his home in Carmel before he died. We spent a pleasant evening chatting; he was charming and very generous with his gin and tonic.

One thing I’ve never figured out since his demise is why I always say “before he died” every time I mention that visit.

23 April 2014

Palcohol to the Rescue!

The problem with drinking is that it’s too much work. Some beer bottles are easy to open with bare hands, but others are nearly impossible to open without a proper bottle opener. One can drink wine out of a five-liter bag (and I do), but most bottles require a corkscrew. Large bourbon bottles have plastic pour spouts in the neck that make them difficult to drink from. And so on.

Palcohol to the rescue!

Mark Phillips developed Palcohol—powdered alcohol—to address those problems and more. His company’s literature describes the concoction as, “A great convenience for a person on the go. Palcohol provides the answer. That’s why we say: ‘Take your Pal wherever you go!’”

Alcohol is the answer and your friend. That’s not very original marketing; people have been saying that for millennia.


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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart

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